UNC: Women’s safety must be top priority in Trinidad and Tobago

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

In this October 2020 file photo, the streets of Port of Spain got a little busier as public servants were allowed to return to work after some covid19 restrictions were relaxed. However, the question of who pays workers for ‘quarantine leave’ is still unanswered. –

In honour of International Women’s Day (IWD) this year, the women’s arm of the United National Congress (UNC) has called for pepper spray to be made available immediately, saying women’s safety be given top priority.

The opposition group said IWD is a day when people appreciate everything that the women in their lives do. A statement on Tuesday from the women’s arm said IWD is a day when everyone acknowledges the value and importance of women in their lives.

“Unfortunately, however, in TT, women are still living in great danger and fear. Gender equality cannot occur while women are afraid to be in public spaces,” the statement said.

The group accused the Government of failing to protect the women in the country.

The group also accused the Government of failing to offer women the tools to protect themselves.

“We have been demanding for years that pepper spray be made available to our women. To this date, despite having pushed the Government to finally pass legislation last year, it is still not available to us,” the statement said.

The group reiterated that this year’s theme, #BreakTheBias, focuses on creating a world free of bias, stereotypes and discrimination, creating gender equality in workplaces, communities and more. It said that some women do not get equal rights

“In these countries, the role of women is very limited. However, this needs to change because women deserve equal opportunities at everything, like men,” the statement said.

“The world is moving towards achieving gender balance. It is moving towards equality for both men and women. The change is something that is needed and is essential. For ages, men have had more privileges in every sphere of society.”

The group emphasised that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities.